EU rebukes Google on its privacy policy

Data protection agencies in Europe have concluded that Google’s new privacy policy does not comply with the continent’s laws, but the Internet search giant immediately rejected the claim.

U.S.-based Google adopted the policy in March, allowing the company to track users across its various offerings, so it could target specific advertising at them depending on what sites they looked at. Aside from Internet searches, Google is tracking use of the video site YouTube, the social network Google-plus and the Android smartphone system.

The European privacy agencies told Google it is not providing users enough information about the information it is tracking. The head of the French data agency, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, said people using Google products are worried about what the company is tracking.

“Google, as any company, wants to have more space to develop new services so the new policy is very general and rather global in order to allow Google more freedom, and this is not to be criticized. But on the other hand, as Google is a key player in the online world, it has responsibilities,” said Falque-Pierrotin. So it needs to give guarantees to its customers. And these customers are sometimes a bit afraid of what is done with their data. And especially the consumer wants to master the use of their data.”

She said Google has three or four months to change its policies or Europe would pursue legal action against it.

Google said it is committed to protecting users’ data and is confident that its policies “respect European law.”

(Photo: Enrique Dans)